Australia’s virus-hit state of Victoria has reported its worst death toll and case rise, prompting fears that a six-week lockdown of state capital Melbourne is not working.
The state confirmed 13 new deaths and 723 new cases on Thursday – a 36% jump on the case record set on Monday.
There are fears now that Melbourne’s lockdown, which began on 7 July, will need to be extended.
The spike meant Australia overall had its deadliest day in the pandemic.
A 14th person died late on Thursday but his death will be included in Friday’s figures as it was announced after the government’s briefing.
Officials in Victoria renewed appeals for people with symptoms to get tested quickly.
Last week, the Victorian government said sick people breaking isolation rules – or not getting tested in time – was leading to continued spread despite lockdown measures.
“If you’ve got symptoms, the only thing you can do is get tested,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.
“You just can’t go to work. Because all you’ll be doing is spreading the virus.”
Thursday’s figures dash hopes that recent lower case numbers indicated the state had turned a corner.